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High Optical Fiber Performance Supports the Spread of Huayin Opera

By Zhang Ge

Huayin Opera is regarded as an early precursor to rock and roll. It originated in the Loess Plateau region of China. In the 2016 CCTV Spring Festival Gala, the Singer Tan Weiwei and Huayin Opera artists performed "The Sound of Huayin Opera." The song is the perfect combination of pop culture and traditional art. Rock and roll is not about "three chords and a tough and insistent drumbeat". It is about freedom from routines and doctrines. The resounding chorus of "The Sound of Huayin Opera" moves the audience so much, it often moves them to tears. Tan Weiwei is a proud singer who's devoted to music.

While it might not quite move you to tears, O&M service has a lot in common with rock and roll. The methodology of "evaluation - optimization - improvement" proposed by Bai does not follow any predefined rule, but the result is always as exciting as "The Sound of Huayin Opera".

Everything in life could be music.

Sitting in front of me is a senior rocker named Bai. Of course, it bears mentioning that, in addition to being a rocker, he is also one of the best network evaluation and optimization experts in the industry.

For Bai's generation, everything in life could be music, such as a brick or a bench. Ask Bai any professional question, and he'll begin by referencing rock and roll. "After the generation of the Tang Dynasty band and Black Panther, Tan Weiwei is the only rock and roll singer in China that deserves my attention." Then he continued on talking about Tan Weiwei.

I didn't have all day. I just wanted to know the relationship between Huayin Opera and network evaluation and optimization. I wanted to learn some methodologies from Bai. After a bit, he turned to the main topic. Of course, it was just the prelude.

The song Tan Weiwei performed at the Gala has rich cultural references from the Shaanxi area. The song was first performed on the stage of "China Star." Tan Weiwei collaborated with five Huayin Opera musicians who were over 70 years old and who interpreted China's oldest rock and roll music. The performance moved both the judges and the audience.

"The 2016 CCTV Spring Festival Gala had 1.03 billion viewers. The line O&M pressure was high. That year, the Shaanxi Broadcast & TV Network was in charge of the live broadcast from the Gala's separate studio in Xi'an. To ensure the broadcast of the 2000-year-old Huayin opera went smoothly, the provincial backbone OTN network needed to run stably and at optimal performance. Additionally, at midnight, the five separate studios and the main venue in Beijing would collaboratively perform a song," said Bai.

Backbone network and "Sunflower"

To be honest, Bai is more likeable when he starts talking about ICT. As a senior service expert, he often discusses topics that also have some historical background that the younger generation, myself included, are unfamiliar with. "The provincial backbone transmission OTN network of the Shaanxi Broadcast & TV Network was built in 2011. That year, the rock star Wang Feng released an album called Life Asks for Nothing. The track Sunflower was pretty good. That year, several western-style underground rock bands were also established." He was off the topic again and I had to interrupt: "Can you tell me more about the OTN network?"

"The Shaanxi Broadcast & TV Network was the first provincial broadcast and TV network company in China to implement unified planning, construction, management, and operation of the provincial broadcast and TV network. The OTN network carries important services such as provincial TV broadcasts, HD VOD, and VIP private line services. It is the most basic and important bearer network of the Shaanxi Broadcast & TV Network, and it plays a decisive role in the operation of the company's entire service." Bai said.

Optical fiber can also get rusty.

"A good song can always stay untouched by the ravages of time, but even the most advanced fiber network will get worn out after a long period of time. Although I did not participate in the project, I still know a lot about it. After a network is constructed and put into use, the network performance gradually deteriorates because of frequent cutover and natural aging of the optical cables. The optical power deviation will become too large, and this causes the cable’s channel performance index to fall below the qualified level. Degraded optical cables cause service interruptions. Earlier, the maintenance pressure had already become huge during the live broadcasts of important activities, such as the parade commemorating 70th anniversary of the victories of the World Anti-Fascist War." Bai said. (The "World Anti-Fascist War" is how many people of Bai's generation refer to World War II.)

I asked: "Who won the bid for the network optimization and reconstruction service?"

Bai said: "Huawei did."

I asked: "How?"

Instead of answering my question immediately, Bai talked a bit about some of the implementation details of the project. " Huawei has comprehensively evaluated the Shaanxi Broadcast & TV Network's provincial backbone OTN network. It covers four modules: network performance, network resources, network O&M efficiency, and network reliability. There were 14 sub-items in total. Among them, it was proposed that the two sections from 'Yan'an to Yulin' and 'Weinan to Zichang', should be thoroughly optimized, due to serious performance degradation ".

"Huayin is located in the Weinan area, and Huayin Opera has its roots their local musical traditions. Weinan people are famous for their boldness and frankness. If the Gala broadcast had become unstable, can you imagine their reaction"? Bai had another sip of his tea.

Quality content

It seemed that sipping tea made Bai very excited. After my repeated demands, he finally got into some meaty technical details. "Huawei improved the overall performance by replacing the optical amplifying boards and reconstructing the site types. We optimized the system parameters for other spans on the entire network to ensure that the optical power and single-wavelength flatness of the main line reached the standard, and thereby improved the network performance and single-wavelength performance. After the network optimization, the overall network performance was improved by more than 30%. Therefore, I think Huawei has demonstrated its service capability through network evaluation". However, software commissioning optimization and hardware optimization are the true highlights of the project.

" Of course, when a good musician arranges a song, he or she doesn't focus only on the musical instrument or the matching of tunes. Music is not simply about the sound effects created by computer hardware and software." Once again, he was off the topic. " What's the relationship between musical arrangements and O&M services? " I asked, to steer him back on topic again.

Another highlight of this project was that it also helped customers transform their O&M modes, just as Tan Weiwei's rewriting of the song gave Huayin Opera a new life.

Previously, a severe flood occurred in Yulin, causing multiple fiber cuts. It was difficult and time-consuming to locate the fiber faults. To address this issue, Huawei implemented the premium WDM service solution, and deployed premium WDM for 14 sites (covering three cities: Xi'an, Weinan, and Xianyang). This solution helped customers quickly locate the fiber faults within minutes, and monitored optical-layer performance in real time, thereby helping customers implement intelligent O&M and improve the O&M efficiency.

A rocker that gets old

At this point, Bai finished his answer, and I had no more questions to ask.

Bai loves music and O&M services equally. Before we said goodbye, he asked me to listen to "The Sound of Huayin Opera" with him. Listening to Tan Weiwei and the other veteran artists, it was easy to hear that rock and roll is not merely "three chords and a tough and insistent drumbeat". It is about freedom from routines and doctrines. In this regard O&M service is also like rock and roll. The methodology of "evaluation - optimization - improvement" proposed by Bai does not follow any rule, but the result is always as exciting as rock and roll.

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Enterprise Service Special Issue 01

Enterprise Service Special Issue 01(06/2019)

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